5 facts you should know about breast implant surgery

09 July 2021

Side profile silhouette of woman by sea with sun behindBy plastic surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Breast implant surgery has always been one of the most requested procedures in the plastic surgery industry the world over, but a mixture of misinformation, general curiosity and a lack of clarity will always leave many women with a lot of questions - especially when it comes to the actual safety of breast implants. 

Below, I’ve tackled some of the more common questions that plastic surgeons are asked related to the safety of breast implant surgery so you can gain a better understanding of the procedure.

1. Do you have to change your breast implants every few years?

One of the most common queries is whether breast implants need to be regularly changed over the years. The stance of the U.S. FDA is that breast implants are not lifetime devices and the longer they are in place, the greater the risk of developing complications that may require surgery. However, breast implants can and do last a significant amount of time - usually between 10-15 years before replacement implants may be needed - provided the procedure was carried out correctly, you’re happy with them and there are no complications that need to be addressed, such as a rupture, deflation, or capsular contracture. In many cases, patients never require implant replacements at all so it all comes down to each individual case.

2. Is it common to experience pain following breast augmentation surgery?

Aside from the expected pain and discomfort a patient may experience during the recovery and healing phase, it’s extremely uncommon to experience chronic pain following breast augmentation surgery. If a patient develops a persistent pain it could be something such as a capsular contracture, which is when a capsule forms and contracts and compresses the implant. It is possible for capsular contracture to form at any time following breast implant surgery and can lead to persistent pain and a distortion in the shape of the breasts, but modifiable risk factors can decrease the incidence rates.

3. Can breast implant surgery cause a loss of sensation in the nipples?

There is some evidence that indicates a potential increase in the risk of sensory changes for some patients with the placement of the implants using a peri-areolar approach or with incisions around the nipples, but most of these sensory changes are likely to completely resolve with time and it’s very uncommon for a loss of sensation to be permanent.

4. Do breast implants affect breast cancer screening?

It is true that saline and silicone breast implants can have an affect on the transmission of radiographic energy that is used to visualise the breast as the x-ray cannot see through the implants. Instead, women who have had a breast augmentation procedure can let screening staff know about their implants and request a mammogram instead as mammographers are able to obtain additional views in order to better visualise the breast tissue.

5. Is it possible to breastfeed with breast implants?

Yes, in most cases, women who have breast implants and a desire to breastfeed their newborn are able to do so without any problems. However, it does ultimately come down to size and placement of the breast implants as well as the type of surgery that is carried out. There are surgical factors that can minimise the risk of having difficulties later down the line with breastfeeding, such as sub-muscular placement of the implants and incisions under the fold of the breast or through the armpit. Your desire to breastfeed one day should be discussed with your plastic surgeon during your early consultations.

If you’d like to learn more about breast augmentation surgery, including my signature Split Muscle Breast Augmentation procedure, or if you’d like to discuss any other of the other cosmetic surgeries that I perform here at Harley Street Aesthetics, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can contact me by calling 0845 519 7232, e-mailing info@harleystreetaesthetics.com or by completing the simple online contact form.


emailContact Dr Kremer

phone 0845 519 7232

info Virtual Consultations


Virtual Consultations

Dr Kremer is now accepting virtual consultations, via Skype or WhatsApp. If you would like a virtual consultation, or would like more information, simply get in touch with us via phone, email or through our contact form and we will schedule a date and time for your consultation.